A service for women and families suffering from domestic violence has not opened yet because of a shortage of finance.
While a new building for Teach Tearmainn in Kildare town was provided relatively recently, funding has not been supplied to operate the centre, say its directors.
At the 25 February meeting of Kildare County Council, Kildare area members said the Council should condemn the HSE for not supplying this funding.
But the meeting heard from Cllr. Tony O’Donnell that a lot of vulnerable women in the county may lose out on help because of a drop in funding.
KCC senior housing executive, George Perry, responded to the proposal by saying that the HSE provide substantial funding to An Teach Tearmainn for staffing and the delivery of an outreach service.
Mr. Perry said that in addition to this the HSE offered a significant figure to enable An Teach Tearmainn to open the doors of the new building at Coolaghknock Glebe in 2012. “This offer was rejected by the management of An Teach Tearmainn.”
The proposal has been referred back to the area committee for amendments.
The meeting, which also heard a presentation from representatives of Teach Tearmainn, was told by Director of Services, Peter Minnock, that the Council made an offer of €100,000 would would be on top of €234,000 the centre was getting.
He said the HSE has said it did not have the money anticipated when the plans were made four to five years ago.
Mr. Minnock said that if they were to meet the request of Teach Tearmainn it would have to take it from other projects, including the Michael Garry centre, Cuan Mhuire or Youth for Peace, to which it paid €73,000, €180,000 and €75-80,000 respectively.
There are spaces for four families at Teach Tearmainn, which provides a range of complex services, as well as outreach services,
Mr. Minnock said the Council funded 70 beds in the county, including 16 at Michael Garry House, 39 in Cuan Mhuire and 17 at Youth for Peace.
Cllr. Seamus Langan said four beds for €334,000 seemed “extravagant.” Cllr. O’Donnell said they were not comparing like with like.
In a presentation, Teach Tearmainn’s Jacinta Carey said that requests for help from 2,537 women around Ireland could not be met.
She said the additonal funding now proposed was insufficient to start the service and meet the standards required.
The meeting heard that domestic violence increases in recession.
Ms. Carey said she did not know where people who contacted them were being accommodated at the moment. “We try other services but they are mostly full.”